FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England will likely cope without the services of influential striker Juan Agudelo when the Montreal Impact visit Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.
Agudelo sustained a right hamstring strain in the 1-1 draw at Toronto FC last Friday. Revolution coach Jay Heaps held out hope the future Stoke City man could recover in time to feature against the Eastern Conference leaders, but Agudelo did not train early in the week and is currently ruled out with the knock on the club's injury list.
Unless Agudelo somehow recovers in short order, he will miss the match and force Heaps to choose an alternative to fill the center forward berth. Charlie Davies, Dimitry Imbongo and Saër Sène will likely enter Heaps' thoughts as he ponders a potential replacement, but Jerry Bengtson – scorer of the first goal in Honduras' stunning 2-1 victory in Mexico on Friday night – remains unavailable due to international duty.
Revolution forward Chad Barrett – now entrenched in a hybrid role on the right flank in Heaps' 4-1-4-1 setup – said he expects his teammates to step up if Agudelo isn't available to lead the line or link the play in the final third.
“There are a lot of things you lose when a guy like Juan Agudelo leaves the field, but look at our bench,” Barrett said. “All we've been doing during the season is acquiring forwards. Charlie Davies has been itching to get his feet wet and get his first start. Dimi has been playing well during the second half of the season.”
Both players will hope to feature at some stage of the proceedings, but Heaps will have to compensate for other absences as he ponders his squad for the match.
Kevin Alston (hamstring) and Gabe Latigue (knee) will not feature, while Clyde Simms (toe) could press for a spot on the bench as he continues his recovery.
Recently acquired fullback O'Brian Woodbine joins Bengtson on the list of players unavailable through international duty. Woodbine replaced Portland defender Alvas Powell after 43 minutes in Jamaica's 0-0 draw in Panama on Friday night.